House Republicans and Democrats are threatening to demand Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s firing in response to an FBI raid on Congressman William J. Jefferson’s (D-LA) office, for which a valid search-and-seizure warrant was obtained. In response, Gonzales and other top Justice officials have threatened to quit if the President orders them to return material seized in the raid.
Rep. Jefferson is accused of accepting bribes totalling at least $100,000; $90,000 in cash, wrapped in aluminum foil, was found during the search. One of his aides has already pleaded guilty to bribe charges and been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, a Republican, is outraged, calling the search a violation of the Constitutional separation of powers. Hastert apparently feels the Legislative branch of the Federal government should be immune to the law.
In another time this might seem amusing, or worthy of dispassionate hair-splitting. In light of the Legislative branch’s lack of passion regarding violations of the peoples’ rights, or its failure to call for the firing of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for countenancing human-rights violations all over the globe, it is outrageous. (more…)